Opioid use and the dangers of opioid use have been a growing issue not only in Indiana, but the United States as a whole. The drug itself can be used as a good pain killer when used appropriately and according to a valid prescription. However, people can also easily become addicted to the pain killers as well and seek the drug from other sources when they no longer are able to receive valid prescriptions from a doctor.
When people seek opioids from other sources one of the dangerous parts is that they do not know exactly what is in the pills they are taking. One common drug that is found in these pills is fentanyl. Similarly, to other prescription pain killers, it is only legal to possess or distribute fentanyl according to a valid prescription that comes from a license medical professional and provided by a licensed pharmacist. To help try and put a stop to the illegal distribution of fentanyl, people caught possessing fentanyl may face very serious consequences in federal court.
Penalty guidelines for fentanyl possession
The level of the penalties people face depends on the amount they are caught possessing though.
- Possession of 40 – 399 grams could result in not less than five years in jail and up to 40 years. If a person who used the drug suffered a serious injury or died the jail sentence increases to between 20 years and life in prison. People also face a fine of up to $2 million or if it is a group $5 million. If it is a second offense the prison sentence could be between 10 years and life. It is life in prison if there was a serious injury or death though. The fines increase to $4 million for individuals and $10 million for groups.
- Possession of 400 grams or more could result in prison sentence between 10 years and life and if there was a serious injury or death than the punishment is 20 years to life in prison. The fines are $4 million for an individual and $10 million for groups. If it is a second offense the prison sentence could be between 20 years and life and it is life in prison if there was a serious injury or death. The fines increase to up to $8 million for individuals and $20 million for groups.
People in Indiana charged with these serious federal crimes will only realize these penalties if they are convicted though. People charged with these crimes need a good defense and consulting with experienced attorneys could be very beneficial.